ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Fifty one years in the making, a New Mexico tradition continued Christmas Eve night 2015.
The annual Luminaria tour through several Albuquerque neighborhoods went off without a hitch, drawing in spectators from across town, the state and the country. The weather was chilly, but much better than it’s expected to be on Saturday.
Roberta Boczkiewicz and her family traveled all the way from Milwaukee to see the thousands of lights illuminating streets, sidewalks and front yards.
”Well you know you can take the girl out of the desert, right, but you can’t take the desert out of the girl,” Boczkiewic said.
She grew up in the South Valley and says Milwaukee has nothing like this New Mexican tradition to offer.
”This is my favorite night in Albuquerque,” she said.
Neighbors in the Country Club area spent nearly all day preparing for the big crowds.
“It demonstrates the love that all the neighbors feel for each other and the community spirit here that we can all come together to put on this display for the city to enjoy,” Aaron Prager said.
But the people who took the city’s 45-minute bus tour of the Luminarias prepped even further in advance. Tickets for the bus tour went on sale the day after Thanksgiving and sold out within four and half hours.
”On Black Friday I woke up at 7:40 that morning and right at 8 I bought our tickets,” Ana Martinez laughed as she waited in line to board the bus.
Buses began loading up\ 20 minutes after 5 p.m. and the bustle of the tour didn’t die down until close to 10 p.m.
After all, little ones have to get to bed, so Old St. Nicholas can see the Luminarias, too.
“It’s a beautiful tradition and we love carrying on with it,” Molly Moran, who’s put out Luminarias since she’s lived in her home on Escalante, said.